Thursday, December 8, 2011

Agatha Christie & another lost week-end

Earlier this year, I was talking with my mom & told her I had begun working my way through the Miss Marple catalog & she said she always thought of them (the books) as kind of henny & her (Miss Marple & Agatha Christie) also kind of henny & without disagreeing (I think they are actually meant to be henny) I said "did you know Agatha Christie went AWOL in December 1926 only to be found in a hotel under her husband's mistress's name after he had come this close to being arrested in connection with the disappearance?" 

Doesn't it make you like her better?

This is not the first lost weekend I had ever heard of.  I knew a lady accountant whose husband was let's say reluctant to believe that staying home with their new baby was nearly so taxing as his day at the office.  He gave long speeches about how she had to pull herself together when he came home & the house was a mess, the baby was crying & she was both a mess & crying.  Among other problems she was having was a complete inability to breast feed, she & the baby just never got the hang of it.  As a result, they were on a merry-go-round of formulas as some did not agree with him some of the time, etc.

Yes, it sounds bad, but it did make it that much easier when on the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend 1995 she met her husband at the door of a clean house, with a clean baby in her arms, handed over the baby & said I'll be back in time for you to go to work on Tuesday & took off.  C******** & D** were a particularly private couple but alas I was the office manager for the company C******** worked for when not on maternity leave & so I was in the unique position of receiving D**'s phone calls.  Did she go to a client?  Is she staying with someone from work?  Has she called in?  Has she called in? Has she called in?

All I know for sure is she did not stay with me; as to the rest I have my suspicions, mostly formed after the fact.  There was not much he could do; she timed it perfectly.  Memorial Day in east Texas is a big deal & that Friday morning I was the only person in the office & on-call through the weekend.  Both his mother & mother-in-law were also out of town, as was pretty much everyone else he knew who might know what to do with a permanently colicky baby for 100+ hours.  All I could tell him was she never phoned in for messages, no client ever said they were expecting her & it wasn't until a week later that it occurred to me that someone else who was unlikely to have any messages at all kept checking in regularly. 

I have no idea what happened when she got home; I don't know if the house or the baby were still clean.  I do know they hired a nanny & she cut short her maternity leave & came back to work early (the first & only time I have ever seen that happen, by the way).  They are still married & they never had any more children.

Agatha's lost weekend did not end so nicely,  Unless you are Archie Christie, I suppose.  He had said he requested a divorce (that's what prompted the fight that ended in her flight) & a divorce he got.  He married the mistress at the heart of it all & that's all I know.  Happily ever after?  Maybe.

1 comment:

  1. Don't I remember that Agatha married an archeologist named Miller and they had adventures on the Nile?